Huskies Set to Compete for National Title on Sunday
May 29, 1999
Lake Natoma, CA - Relying on a stronger sprint, Brown pulled away from Washington over the final 500 meters during Saturdays semifinal races at the NCAA Womens Rowing Championships to upset the two-time defending national champions. Browns winning time of 6:50.9 was the fasted time during two days of races. The Huskies finished with a time of 6:52.3.
The loss was the first every suffered by a Husky Varsity 8 team at the NCAAs. Both teams will be joined by Virginia from the semifinal heat in Sundays finals. The Cavaliers needed a photo finish to hold off Michigan for the final spot in the finals.
In the other semifinal race, California finished first ahead of Princeton and Harvard to set the final three spots in Sundays final. Brown and California will have the more favorable No. 3 and No. 4 lane positions during the finals while the Huskies will have to row from lane five.
Washingtons Varsity II (junior varsity) and Varsity Fours automatically qualified for the finals by winning their qualifying heats Friday. Both of those boats received inside lane assignments for Sunday. Washington, Brown and Virginia are the only three teams to qualify teams in all three events for Sundays finals from the 10 schools competing for the team championship.
"I would have to say that Brown is probably favored tomorrow," said Washington coach Jan Harville. "We met goal number one today and that was to qualify. We didnt quite meet goal number two, which was to win. Well have to get better and give it another go tomorrow. We need to see if we can get a better sprint there at the end."
The victory by Brown avenged an earlier loss to the Huskies at the Windermere Cup. Racing on a shortened 1,500-meter course because of severe conditions, the Huskies defeated Brown by 5.7 seconds on Opening Day at the Montlake Cut. Browns win marked the first time a collegiate crew had defeated Washingtons Varsity 8 squad since the 1996 national championships.
"Im happy, but we still have one more race to go," said Brown coach John Murphy. "We still need to stay focused and keep moving forward toward tomorrows race."
"We had some good parts of our race, we just need to step it up tomorrow," Harville said. "Its the last one that counts. Well go for all the marbles tomorrow."
"I would have liked to see us have a little better sprint. Thats the main thing. We know we have a good start. In two races with Brown, weve gotten them on the start both times and then they pulled back on it. We probably have to handle that better."
Washingtons rowers were more disappointed in their overall effort than losing for the first time this year.
"At the Windermere Cup (against Brown) I thought we were solid all the way through, but we were a little bit scattered today," said senior coxswain Missy Collins.
"I dont think this shakes our confidence, said senior Katy Dunnet, who has rowed in both of Washingtons NCAA championship Varsity 8 boats. "It is better to learn a lesson today versus tomorrow.
"When you take the cadence and the stroke rate up you have to make sure you keep reaching the blades in. If you are short and choppy, you are not getting as much power into it. If you are going to sprint, you have to take more strokes and they have to be just as hard. Today, we were not as effective as we can be."
Dunnet is glad the Huskies have a chance to redeem themselves.
"If that were our best race, I would be thinking, Well, I guess well be racing for second place tomorrow. But, that was not our best race. I know we have more. Weve split (with Brown) so far, now we go for the one that counts."
Sundays finals are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT.
NCAA Womens Rowing Championships
Lake Natoma, Sacramento, Calif.
Semifinal 1: 1. Brown 6:50.9, 2. Washington (cox - Missy Collins, stroke - Sabina Telenska, 7 - Katy Dunnet, 6 - Rika Geyser, 5 - Tiffani Sumner, 4 - Rachel Dunnet, 3 - Vanessa Tavalero, 2 - Nicole Borges, bow - Nicole Rogers) 6:52.3, 3. Virginia 6:56.0, 4. Michigan 6:56.3, 5. Dartmouth 7:09.0, 6. Boston Univ. 7:13.2
Semifinal 2: 1. California 6:57.9, 2. Princeton 6:58.8, 3. Harvard 7:01.9, 4. Michigan State 7:04.3, 5. Northeastern 7:08.5, 6. USC 7:16.4
Varsity II Repechage 1. Michigan 7:15.6, 2. Michigan State 7:16.4, 3. Boston Univ. 7:23.3, 4. California 7:23.7, 5. Harvard 7:27.4, 6. Wisconsin 7:37.4
Varsity Fours Repechage 1. Virginia 7:57.0, 2. Wisconsin 8:03.2, 3. Boston Univ. 8:07.5, 4. Princeton 8:18.5, 5. California 8:21.1, 6. Michigan State 8:23.5
Varsity I (To Determine Places 13-19) 1. Oregon State 7:09.4, 2. Wisconsin 7:14.0, 3. Massachusetts 7:15.1, 4. William Smith 7:25.3, 5. UC Davis 7:26.3, 6. Williams 7:37.7, 7. Marrietta 7:57.7